Triticum monococcum (2n) is a close ancestor of T. urartu, the A-genome progenitor of cultivated hexaploid wheat, and is therefore a useful model for the study of components regulating photomorphogenesis in diploid wheat. In order to develop genetic and genomic resources for such a study, we constructed genome-wide transcriptomes of two Triticum monococcum subspecies, the wild winter wheat T. monococcum ssp. aegilopoides (accession G3116) and the domesticated spring wheat T. monococcum ssp. monococcum (accession DV92) by generating de novo assemblies of RNA-Seq data derived from both etiolated and green seedlings.
Tocochromanols are recognized for nutritional content, plant stress response, and seed longevity. Here we present a systems biological approach to characterize and develop predictive assays for genes affecting tocochromanol variation in barley. Major QTL, detected in three regions of a SNP linkage map, affected multiple tocochromanol forms. Candidate genes were identified through barley/rice orthology and sequenced in genotypes with disparate tocochromanol profiles. Gene-specific markers, designed based on observed polymorphism, mapped to the originating QTL, increasing R2 values at the respective loci. Polymorphism within promoter regions corresponded to motifs known to influence gene expression. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed a trend of increased expression in tissues grown at cold temperatures. These results demonstrate utility of a novel method for rapid gene identification and characterization, and provide a resource for efficient development of barley lines with improved tocochromanol profiles.
The current limitations in genome sequencing technology require the construction of physical maps for high-quality draft sequences of large plant genomes, such as that of Aegilops tauschii, the wheat D-genome progenitor. To construct a physical map of the Ae. tauschii genome, we fingerprinted 461,706 bacterial artificial chromosome clones, assembled contigs, designed a 10K Ae. tauschii Infinium SNP array, constructed a 7,185-marker genetic map, and anchored on the map contigs totaling 4.03 Gb. Using whole genome shotgun reads, we extended the SNP marker sequences and found 17,093 genes and gene fragments. We showed that collinearity of the Ae. tauschii genes with Brachypodium distachyon, rice, and sorghum decreased with phylogenetic distance and that structural genome evolution rates have been high across all investigated lineages in subfamily Pooideae, including that of Brachypodieae. We obtained additional information about the evolution of the seven Triticeae chromosomes from 12 ancestral chromosomes and uncovered a pattern of centromere inactivation accompanying nested chromosome insertions in grasses. We showed that the density of noncollinear genes along the Ae. tauschii chromosomes positively correlates with recombination rates, suggested a cause, and showed that new genes, exemplified by disease resistance genes, are preferentially located in high-recombination chromosome regions.
Starch granule surface-associated proteins were separated by HPLC and identified by direct protein sequencing. Among the proteins identified was one that consisted of two polypeptide chains of 11 and 19 kDa linked by disulfide bonds. Sequencing of tryptic peptides from each of the polypeptides revealed similarities between some of the peptides and avenin-like b proteins encoded by partial cDNAs in NCBI. To identify a contiguous sequence that matched all of the peptides, contigs encoding three avenin-like b proteins were constructed from ESTs of the cultivar Butte 86. All peptide sequences were found in a protein encoded by one of these contigs that had not been identified previously. Protein and DNA sequences indicated that the two polypeptide chains were derived from a parent protein that had been cleaved at the C-terminal position of an asparagine residue. The name farinin is suggested for this protein and other avenin-like b proteins. Evolutionary relationships of the protein are discussed and a simple computer molecular model was constructed. On the basis of its sequence, the new protein was likely to be allergenic but unlikely to be active in celiac disease.
In the course of evolution, the genomes of grasses have maintained an observable degree of gene order conservation. The information available for already sequenced genomes can be used to predict the gene order of nonsequenced species by means of comparative colinearity studies. The "Wheat Zapper" application presented here performs on-demand colinearity analysis between wheat, rice, Sorghum, and Brachypodium in a simple, time efficient, and flexible manner. This application was specifically designed to provide plant scientists with a set of tools, comprising not only synteny inference, but also automated primer design, intron/exon boundaries prediction, visual representation using the graphic tool Circos 0.53, and the possibility of downloading FASTA sequences for downstream applications. Quality of the "Wheat Zapper" prediction was confirmed against the genome of maize, with good correlation (r?>?0.83) observed between the gene order predicted on the basis of synteny and their actual position on the genome. Further, the accuracy of "Wheat Zapper" was calculated at 0.65 considering the "Genome Zipper" application as the "gold" standard. The differences between these two tools are amply discussed, making the point that "Wheat Zapper" is an accurate and reliable on-demand tool that is sure to benefit the cereal scientific community. The Wheat Zapper is available at http://wge.ndsu.nodak.edu/wheatzapper/ .
A physically anchored consensus map is foundational to modern genomics research; however, construction of such a map in oat (Avena sativa L., 2n?=?6x?=?42) has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, the scarcity of robust molecular markers, and the lack of aneuploid stocks. Resources developed in this study include a modified SNP discovery method for complex genomes, a diverse set of oat SNP markers, and a novel chromosome-deficient SNP anchoring strategy. These resources were applied to build the first complete, physically-anchored consensus map of hexaploid oat. Approximately 11,000 high-confidence in silico SNPs were discovered based on nine million inter-varietal sequence reads of genomic and cDNA origin. GoldenGate genotyping of 3,072 SNP assays yielded 1,311 robust markers, of which 985 were mapped in 390 recombinant-inbred lines from six bi-parental mapping populations ranging in size from 49 to 97 progeny. The consensus map included 985 SNPs and 68 previously-published markers, resolving 21 linkage groups with a total map distance of 1,838.8 cM. Consensus linkage groups were assigned to 21 chromosomes using SNP deletion analysis of chromosome-deficient monosomic hybrid stocks. Alignments with sequenced genomes of rice and Brachypodium provide evidence for extensive conservation of genomic regions, and renewed encouragement for orthology-based genomic discovery in this important hexaploid species. These results also provide a framework for high-resolution genetic analysis in oat, and a model for marker development and map construction in other species with complex genomes and limited resources.
Allotetraploid (2n = 4x = 28) Leymus triticoides and Leymus cinereus are divergent perennial grasses, which form fertile hybrids. Genetic maps with n = 14 linkage groups (LG) comprised with 1,583 AFLP and 67 heterologous anchor markers were previously used for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in these hybrids, and chromosomes of other Leymus wildryes have been transferred to wheat. However, identifications of the x = 7 homoeologous groups were tenuous and genetic research has been encumbered by a lack of functional, conserved gene marker sequences. Herein, we mapped 350 simple sequence repeats and 26 putative lignin biosynthesis genes from a new Leymus EST library and constructed one integrated consensus map with 799 markers, including 375 AFLPs and 48 heterologous markers, spanning 2,381 centiMorgans. LG1b and LG6b were reassigned as LG6b* and LG1b*, respectively, and LG4Ns and LG4Xm were inverted so that all 14 linkage groups are aligned to the x = 7 Triticeae chromosomes based on EST alignments to barley and other reference genomes. Amplification of 146 mapped Leymus ESTs representing six of the seven homoeologous groups was shown for 17 wheat-Leymus chromosome introgression lines. Reciprocal translocations between 4L and 5L in both Leymus and Triticum monococcum were aligned to the same regions of Brachypodium chromosome 1. A caffeic acid O-methyltransferase locus aligned to fiber QTL peaks on Leymus LG7a and brown midrib mutations of maize and sorghum. Glaucousness genes on Leymus and wheat chromosome 2 were aligned to the same region of Brachypodium chromosome 5. Markers linked to the S self-incompatibility gene on Leymus LG1a cosegregated with markers on LG2b, possibly cross-linked by gametophytic selection. Homoeologous chromosomes 1 and 2 harbor the S and Z gametophytic self-incompatibility genes of Phalaris, Secale, and Lolium, but the Leymus chromosome-2 self-incompatibility gene aligns to a different region on Brachypodium chromosome 5. Nevertheless, cosegregation of self-incompatibility genes on Leymus presents a powerful system for mapping these loci.
The small annual grass Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is rapidly emerging as a powerful model system to study questions unique to the grasses. Many Brachypodium resources have been developed including a whole genome sequence, highly efficient transformation and a large germplasm collection. We developed a genetic linkage map of Brachypodium using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and an F(2) mapping population of 476 individuals. SNPs were identified by targeted resequencing of single copy genomic sequences. Using the Illumina GoldenGate Genotyping platform we placed 558 markers into five linkage groups corresponding to the five chromosomes of Brachypodium. The unusually long total genetic map length, 1,598 centiMorgans (cM), indicates that the Brachypodium mapping population has a high recombination rate. By comparing the genetic map to genome features we found that the recombination rate was positively correlated with gene density and negatively correlated with repetitive regions and sites of ancestral chromosome fusions that retained centromeric repeat sequences. A comparison of adjacent genome regions with high versus low recombination rates revealed a positive correlation between interspecific synteny and recombination rate.
Genetic markers are pivotal to modern genomics research; however, discovery and genotyping of molecular markers in oat has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, and by a scarcity of sequence data. The purpose of this study was to generate oat expressed sequence tag (EST) information, develop a bioinformatics pipeline for SNP discovery, and establish a method for rapid, cost-effective, and straightforward genotyping of SNP markers in complex polyploid genomes such as oat.
Transposable elements (TE) exist in the genomes of nearly all eukaryotes. TE mobilization through cut-and-paste or copy-and-paste mechanisms causes their insertions into other repetitive sequences, gene loci and other DNA. An insertion of a TE commonly creates a unique TE junction in the genome. TE junctions are also randomly distributed along chromosomes and therefore useful for genome-wide marker development. Several TE-based marker systems have been developed and applied to genetic diversity assays, and to genetic and physical mapping. A software tool RJPrimers reported here allows for accurate identification of unique repeat junctions using BLASTN against annotated repeat databases and a repeat junction finding algorithm, and then for fully automated high-throughput repeat junction-based primer design using Primer3 and BatchPrimer3. The software was tested using the rice genome and genomic sequences of Aegilops tauschii. Over 90% of repeat junction primers designed by RJPrimers were unique. At least one RJM marker per 10 Kb sequence of A. tauschii was expected with an estimate of over 0.45 million such markers in a genome of 4.02 Gb, providing an almost unlimited source of molecular markers for mapping large and complex genomes. A web-based server and a command line-based pipeline for RJPrimers are both available at http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/demos/RJPrimers/.
A genome-wide assessment of nucleotide diversity in a polyploid species must minimize the inclusion of homoeologous sequences into diversity estimates and reliably allocate individual haplotypes into their respective genomes. The same requirements complicate the development and deployment of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in polyploid species. We report here a strategy that satisfies these requirements and deploy it in the sequencing of genes in cultivated hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum, genomes AABBDD) and wild tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides, genomes AABB) from the putative site of wheat domestication in Turkey. Data are used to assess the distribution of diversity among and within wheat genomes and to develop a panel of SNP markers for polyploid wheat.
In some genomic applications it is necessary to design large numbers of PCR primers in exons flanking one or several introns on the basis of orthologous gene sequences in related species. The primer pairs designed by this target gene approach are called "intron-flanking primers" or because they are located in exonic sequences which are usually conserved between related species, "conserved primers". They are useful for large-scale single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery and marker development, especially in species, such as wheat, for which a large number of ESTs are available but for which genome sequences and intron/exon boundaries are not available. To date, no suitable high-throughput tool is available for this purpose.
Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) has been recognized as a new model species for comparative and functional genomics of cereal and bioenergy crops because it possesses many biological attributes desirable in a model, such as a small genome size, short stature, self-pollinating habit, and short generation cycle. To maximize the utility of Brachypodium as a model for basic and applied research it is necessary to develop genomic resources for it. A BAC-based physical map is one of them. A physical map will facilitate analysis of genome structure, comparative genomics, and assembly of the entire genome sequence.
Databases have become an integral part of all aspects of biological research, including basic and applied plant biology. The importance of databases continues to increase as the volume of data from direct and indirect genomics approaches expands. What is not always obvious to users of databases is the range of available database resources, their access points, or some basic elements of database querying. This chapter briefly summarizes the history of data access via the Internet and reviews some basic terms and considerations in dealing with plant and crop databases. The reader is directed to some of the major publicly available Internet-accessible relevant databases with summaries of the major focuses of those databases, and several examples are given to illustrate how to access plant genomics data. Finally, an outline is given of some of the issues facing the future of plant and crop databases.
A survey and analysis is made of all available omega-gliadin DNA sequences including omega-gliadin genes within a large genomic clone, previously reported gene sequences, and ESTs identified from the large wheat EST collection. A contiguous portion of the Gli-B3 locus is shown to contain two apparently active omega-gliadin genes, two pseudogenes, and four fragments of the 3 portion of omega-gliadin sequences. Comparison of omega-gliadin sequences allows a phylogenetic picture of their relationships and genomes of origin. Results show three groupings of omega-gliadin active gene sequences assigned to each of the three hexaploid wheat genomes, and a fourth group thus far consisting of pseudogenes assigned to the A-genome. Analysis of omega-gliadin ESTs allows reconstruction of two full-length model sequences encoding the AREL- and ARQL-type proteins from the Gli-A3 and Gli-D3 loci, respectively. There is no DNA evidence of multiple active genes from these two loci. In contrast, ESTs allow identification of at least three to four distinct active genes at the Gli-B3 locus of some cultivars. Additional results include more information on the position of cysteines in some omega-gliadin genes and discussion of problems in studying the omega-gliadin gene family.
Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) has been recently recognized as an emerging model system for both comparative and functional genomics in grass species. In this study, 55,221 repeat masked Brachypodium BAC end sequences (BES) were used for comparative analysis against the 12 rice pseudomolecules. The analysis revealed that approximately 26.4% of BES have significant matches with the rice genome and 82.4% of the matches were homologous to known genes. Further analysis of paired-end BES and approximately 1.0 Mb sequences from nine selected BACs proved to be useful in revealing conserved regions and regions that have undergone considerable genomic changes. Differential gene amplification, insertions/deletions and inversions appeared to be the common evolutionary events that caused variations of microcolinearity at different orthologous genomic regions. It was found that approximately 17% of genes in the two genomes are not colinear in the orthologous regions. Analysis of BAC sequences also revealed higher gene density (approximately 9 kb/gene) and lower repeat DNA content (approximately 13.1%) in Brachypodium when compared to the orthologous rice regions, consistent with the smaller size of the Brachypodium genome. The 119 annotated Brachypodium genes were BLASTN compared against the wheat EST database and deletion bin mapped wheat ESTs. About 77% of the genes retrieved significant matches in the EST database, while 9.2% matched to the bin mapped ESTs. In some cases, genes in single Brachypodium BACs matched to multiple ESTs that were mapped to the same deletion bins, suggesting that the Brachypodium genome will be useful for ordering wheat ESTs within the deletion bins and developing specific markers at targeted regions in the wheat genome.
Gene families often show degrees of differences in terms of exon-intron structures depending on their distinct evolutionary histories. Comparative analysis of gene structures is important for understanding their evolutionary and functional relationships within plant species. Here, we present a comparative genomics database named PIECE (http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/piece) for Plant Intron and Exon Comparison and Evolution studies. The database contains all the annotated genes extracted from 25 sequenced plant genomes. These genes were classified based on Pfam motifs. Phylogenetic trees were pre-constructed for each gene category. PIECE provides a user-friendly interface for different types of searches and a graphical viewer for displaying a gene structure pattern diagram linked to the resulting bootstrapped dendrogram for each gene family. The gene structure evolution of orthologous gene groups was determined using the GLOOME, Exalign and GECA software programs that can be accessed within the database. PIECE also provides a web server version of the software, GSDraw, for drawing schematic diagrams of gene structures. PIECE is a powerful tool for comparing gene sequences and provides valuable insights into the evolution of gene structure in plant genomes.
Development of a high quality reference sequence is a daunting task in crops like wheat with large (~17Gb), highly repetitive (>80%) and polyploid genome. To achieve complete sequence assembly of such genomes, development of a high quality physical map is a necessary first step. However, due to the lack of recombination in certain regions of the chromosomes, genetic mapping, which uses recombination frequency to map marker loci, alone is not sufficient to develop high quality marker scaffolds for a sequence ready physical map. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping, which uses radiation induced chromosomal breaks, has proven to be a successful approach for developing marker scaffolds for sequence assembly in animal systems. Here, the development and characterization of a RH panel for the mapping of D-genome of wheat progenitor Aegilops tauschii is reported.
The model grass Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is an excellent system for studying the basic biology underlying traits relevant to the use of grasses as food, forage and energy crops. To add to the growing collection of Brachypodium resources available to plant scientists, we further optimized our Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated high-efficiency transformation method and generated 8,491 Brachypodium T-DNA lines. We used inverse PCR to sequence the DNA flanking the insertion sites in the mutants. Using these flanking sequence tags (FSTs) we were able to assign 7,389 FSTs from 4,402 T-DNA mutants to 5,285 specific insertion sites (ISs) in the Brachypodium genome. More than 29% of the assigned ISs are supported by multiple FSTs. T-DNA insertions span the entire genome with an average of 19.3 insertions/Mb. The distribution of T-DNA insertions is non-uniform with a larger number of insertions at the distal ends compared to the centromeric regions of the chromosomes. Insertions are correlated with genic regions, but are biased toward UTRs and non-coding regions within 1 kb of genes over exons and intron regions. More than 1,300 unique genes have been tagged in this population. Information about the Western Regional Research Center Brachypodium insertional mutant population is available on a searchable website (http://brachypodium.pw.usda.gov) designed to provide researchers with a means to order T-DNA lines with mutations in genes of interest.
Natural rubber biosynthesis in guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) is associated with moderately cold night temperatures. To begin to dissect the molecular events triggered by cold temperatures that govern rubber synthesis induction in guayule, the transcriptome of bark tissue, where rubber is produced, was investigated. A total of 11,748 quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were obtained. The vast majority of ESTs encoded proteins that are similar to stress-related proteins, whereas those encoding rubber biosynthesis-related proteins comprised just over one percent of the ESTs. Sequence information derived from the ESTs was used to design primers for quantitative analysis of the expression of genes that encode selected enzymes and proteins with potential impact on rubber biosynthesis in field-grown guayule plants, including 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase, squalene synthase, small rubber particle protein, allene oxide synthase, and cis-prenyl transferase. Gene expression was studied for field-grown plants during the normal course of seasonal variation in temperature (monthly average maximum 41.7 °C to minimum 0 °C, from November 2005 through March 2007) and rubber transferase enzymatic activity was also evaluated. Levels of gene expression did not correlate with air temperatures nor with rubber transferase activity. Interestingly, a sudden increase in night temperature 10 days before harvest took place in advance of the highest CPT gene expression level.
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